The redemption that Christ purchased for us extends far beyond the salvation of our souls. Through His death and resurrection, Christ purchased the right to “restore all things.” This includes every aspect of us individually, but it also includes the restoration of nations.
If we study history carefully, we can see how the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ has transformed nations and made advanced civilization possible by providing the theology that undergirds undergirds human rights, imparting a moral framework to society, and fostering the personal relationship with God that transforms lives.
As the tragic crisis in Afghanistan unfolds, let us pray not forget that, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”–an adage proven true through the centuries. Just as God has transformed nations in the past with the power of the gospel, He can do it again in 21st century Afghanistan.
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”-Colossians 1:19-20
“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.”-Revelation 7:9 NIV
The most exciting thing about this promise is that the last great harvest of souls around the world will be so massive that no one will be able to count it! If we dig deeper into this passage, we also discover that national and tribal identities will be preserved and celebrated in heaven…and that every tribe and nation will be represented there. Afghanistan has just as much right to this prophetic promise as the nations we consider to be predominately Christian.
Even if the situation seems hopeless now, we must remember that the early apostles faced Taliban-like torture and execution when they first began sowing the seeds of the gospel throughout the civilized world. God transformed nations through the power of the gospel in the past and He plans to do it again…because the blood of Jesus has lost none of its potency.
“You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”-Acts 1:8 NIV
When the pure gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, the power of the Holy Spirit is released. This was not only true in the book of Acts, but throughout church history. Just as the Holy Spirit gave revelation, supernatural protection, divine healing, and confirming signs to believers in godless nations in the past, God can grant supernatural power to the persecuted Christians in Afghanistan today.
The Lord has promised, “I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Joel 2:28). This promise of a new move of God that gives apostolic power is not only for the West–but for the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia as well!
“Lord, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord, and he answers me from his holy mountain.”
-Psalm 3:1-3 NIV
It is important to hold our government leaders accountable for their failures in the Afghanistan crisis. We may also need to mobilize again in the future to bring stability in Afghanistan or elsewhere in the world. However, in all of our geopolitical calculations, let us not forget that we serve a supernatural God who answers our prayers and intervenes.
Whether we are studying the great battles of scripture, key battles in World War II, or the modern history of Israel, history is often shaped as much by God’s intervention as by military might.
God promises to hear us when we cry out to Him and Christ made it clear that simple prayers are the most effective: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Let us cry out for divine intervention and supernatural protection for persecuted Afghan Christians and other oppressed groups in the nation. Instead of despair, let us pray with the full confidence that the Father hears us and will intervene when we ask Him to.
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.”-Romans 12:19
It is normal, perhaps even healthy, to feel anger, grief, or frustration by the historic failure of the Afghanistan crisis and the suffering that has followed. In fact, these feelings can drive us to action–in prayer, in making our voices heard, and in holding our government leaders accountable.
However, it is also important to have God the Father’s perspective on everything. Every act of evil will be judged and evil-doers will be cast into hell. While this might not seem comforting next to the promise of eternal salvation, the promise of God’s justice is a core component of the restoration he has promised.
Asia is host to what many consider to be the most powerful prayer movement on planet earth. The prayer movements in South Korea and in the underground Chinese church have been well-documented.
Let us pray for a great awakening to sweep throughout Asia, an awakening that will mobilize Asian believers for intercessory prayer, evangelism, and supernatural ministry that will truly transform nations.
While the enemy may have dark schemes for taking advantage of the instability of the region, let us not forget that God has a master plan for confounding the plans of evil and bringing revival to the most desperate tribes and nations.
“Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath…”
One of the most powerful prayer movements in the West was the strategy to pray for the “10-40” window prayer strategy, first introduced by Luis Bush in 1990. This strategy maps out a region between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator as a region that includes 4 billion people, the majority of people who have not heard the gospel, and the centers of Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism. It was after this prayer mobilization began that Muslims across the Middle East began to encounter Christ as the “man in white,” and the U.S. and its allies mobilized to fight in the global war on terrorism, beginning in 2001.
What if we dusted off this prayer strategy again and begin to pray with intensity for God to move in this region of the world?